I'm not a ballet fan, and I'm not a huge fan of Tchaikovsky's music either. But I happened to run into the Matthew Bourne version of The Sleeping Beauty on TV at Christmas and was instantly fascinated, to the extent that I wanted to watch the whole ballet and therefore bought the DVD. It didn't disappoint. It's the "Gothic" aspect, the evil characters especially, that make this a completely different experience from the usual ballet stuff.
Matthew Bourne has come up trumps again in an enjoyable production of this classic ballet. . The two leads, Hannah Vassallo and Dominic North, both have a magnetic presence and show the movement to be an extension of Tchaikovsky's music. There is also a vampire theme mixed in with the good fairies which makes the whole thing bang up to date. The evil fairy is played by a man and carried on by the same dancer as the son a century later (this last part is set in the modern world with mobiles etc). There is also an extended sequence where the male dancers are shirtless with white short-ish trousers and long wigs like rock guitarists, which was very effective.
Mathew Bourne, not surprisingly, has done it again. Imagination both in the dance and the settings. A fast moving production that tealls an easy to follow story. I beg to be forgiven but I must single out Dominic North's dancing. inspirational and spellbinding.
This is a magical updating of 'Sleeping Beauty', with vampires and demons and gorgeous costumes! I saw it live in Glasgow, and enjoyed it tremendously. The late 19-early 20C scenes have more than a touch of pre-Revolutionary Russia (the King looks like Nikolai II), and Aurora's relationship with the gamekeeper/gardener is a tad Lady Chatterley! Carabosse/Caradoc is very well played (with wonderful outfits as both mother and son), and I love the feral, vampiric færies, especially Count Lilac.
But please can we have a DVD release of Matthew Bourne's 'Dorian Gray'?
Having seen this live on the stage, I wanted to share the Experience with my family, and let me tell you that this DVD does not lose much of the impact of the live performance. It is a truly a fantastic story told well.